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Are You Burying The Lead in Your Life
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Have you ever found yourself setting out on a big mission yet not being able to define what you want?
When I was a young man, I trained in journalism as part of my broadcast career. Radio stations would send me to the local town meetings and political events. Anything newsworthy. My job was to write a story and deliver it on the air, and I thought I was doing a great job - until my boss called me into his office. He wanted to know why I wasn't getting to the critical part of the story faster. He said I was distracting from what is important.
In my mind, I was doing no such thing.
I told the story how it sounded best in my mind, but nobody was listening long enough to hear what I had to say. All these years later, I've learned the "I want to get more out of life" crowd does the same thing.
Recently, I spoke with a client when I realized she was very good at shifting to the unimportant—finding more time, learning more, and getting more advice. Even cleaning the garage was more important. In the middle of her wandering story, I stopped her,
"Why are you avoiding what is most important to you? Cut to the chase, say what you want, and go do it."
Her response came with a few tears.
"I thought I was talking about what is most important. Now I realize I'm telling myself a story that is comforting and sounds good to in my mind."
She is burying the lead in journalistic terms, busying herself with secondary details, and growing frustrated.
How does this relate to improving your life?
Do you say, "I can't focus?" Nope. You are focusing on the wrong things.
Do you say, "I can't get myself moving?" Truth? You are moving - in the wrong direction.
Do you say, "I don't have enough money?" Wrong again. What you need is more money!
If something is important to you, give it the honor, respect and focus it deserves. Lose the drama, get to the point, and start getting what you want right now.
Mission Beyond Your Why
Since the beginning of time, successful people have given this sage advice; you must set goals.
In the human mind, setting goals are the heartbeat of your life. Setting a goal will harness your focus, give you meaning and purpose, and drive you forward. It gets even better if you place a deadline. If your goal is essential, timely, urgent, you will likely do anything possible to get it.
You may have also heard that understanding WHY you want to achieve your goal is critical to your success. "Knowing your WHY will allow you to deal with every challenge along the way,” is what they said. But sometimes, you fall short. Losing weight is a good example.
Every year, millions of people set the goal of losing a few pounds. Most end up failing. But if you think about it, that makes sense. Nobody ever wants to lose anything. That's against every survival instinct you have in your body. When you set a goal that takes something away, your mind will fight you every step of the way.
So what's the fix?
If your goal is to lose 10 pounds, focus on the real reason and the benefits you will receive when you reach your goal. That will become your mission beyond your why.
It's not losing weight. It's feeling better inside and out.
It's not losing weight. It's building your self-confidence.
It's not losing weight. It's having unlimited energy and stamina.
Any goal that focuses on loss alone lacks the positive motivation you need to succeed. No matter how bad you want it.
When you think about your daily process as steps on a mission beyond your why, everything changes. More success and happiness are in your future, and your possibilities are endless.
What Is Your Intention?
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Do you get out of bed every day, plant your feet on the ground, and start getting things done?
Do you do it with intention?
If you take a minute, you’ll notice the happiest, most successful, and content people live a life of intention. But having an intention is not a magical force reserved for the special few. It implies little more than what you plan to bring about in your life - something I was about to do.
In the months after meeting my future wife, I realized an intention was emerging in my mind. With every passing day, that intention transformed into a goal. Soon, I had a plan along with a timeline. I became obsessed and was on a mission to succeed.
I had, as they say, “Good intentions.”
But, good intentions are rarely enough to get what you want. In my case, I knew where I was heading; Joi was only beginning to understand what was on my mind. That’s when she asked -
“So, Mr. Smith. What are your intentions, exactly?”
Without missing a beat, I said -
“My intentions are simple. I’m going to do everything I can to get you to fall in love with me, marry me, and spend the rest of our lives together.”
Her jaw dropped. She smiled, took a sip of wine, and said -
“Well, I guess we’ll keep going and see what happens.”
What? We’ll see how things go? I already know where this is going. Why do we need to wait? I know my intention, and I’m to get it!
Of course, I didn’t say any of that to her.
Yes, getting what you want in life requires knowing your intentions. Transforming them into goals and action is next. But, you and your dreams are not living on an isolated island. If others are involved, you must let them know what you have on your mind.
But, because you said your intention, does that mean you will get what you want?
No. It means that you now have a partner in your quest. Your intentions are about to merge. If all goes well, your actions will create success for everybody.
Formula For Automatic Motivation
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Over the years, I’ve learned there is one trait responsible for holding people back. While it lives at the front of your mind and affects everything you do, it is also invisible.
You are too vague in your vision.
When most people build a successful life, they often do so with a lack of clarity or precise vision of their future. They have a vague idea. The Universe kicks in gear, an opportunity arrives, and life is good and satisfying—until it’s not.
A day will come when you desire something more. You may find yourself stuck behind an obstacle of indecision and frustration. Confused, lacking direction, fearful, and seeking the motivation that will drive you forward. It will feel as if there is a cloudy haze over your future with no clear path to success—and no motivation to go for it.
But there is no need to worry.
Another day will dawn. You will realize that a general and non-specific approach to your future is not the fuel that will power you. Being too vague doesn’t build a vision.
A time will come when you choose to be specific in your wants, needs, and desires. You will seek absolute clarity and turn your head away from anything the doesn’t provide a clear path. It may take time, but you will discover your first step. When you do, magic will happen.
On the day that you define what you want, vagueness will disappear. Your new focus will create excitement and will manifest into automatic motivation. You will move toward your new experience.
If you want something different in life, clearly and precisely express what that means to you. When you do, you will strike gold in time and will be off and running on your new adventure—automatically.
Acting On Your Dreams and Goals
Do you have long-held dreams and goals that you need a little motivation to get yourself moving?
Laura and I have worked together for over a decade on various projects. Her latest was a move from a long-time career into something she was in which she was more passionate. After several months, her dream transformed into a goal. The roadmap was in place. Action was the only thing needed to turn dreams into reality—then nothing happened.
Months passed by with little or no action. It seemed that life was always getting in the way of Laura's dreams. When I asked what was going on, she said,
"Oh… I don't know. I always seem to have something more important on my mind."
That's common, and what John Lennon meant when he said, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."
Over the years, I have found that people tend to ACT and DO what serves them best at the moment. All while dreaming and planning what they want. It's an exhausting way to live, but you can set yourself free by asking yourself a simple question -
"How bad do I want it?"
Truthfully answering that question will do one of two things. It will propel you into action or have no impact at all. If you find yourself motivated and moving, all is well. If not, you have another question to ask -
"If I don't want it that bad, should I drop it and move on?"
Everybody has ideas and dreams that enter their mind throughout their lives. The important tend to cause automatic forward action. Your life transforms, and everything begins to go in a new direction.
For the others, you may want to consider that it's not as important to you as you thought. The best thing is to get your ego out of the way, scratch it off your list, and make room for something that excites you. When you do, incredible new opportunities that have been hiding from you for years will enter your life.
Listening To Yourself Twice as Much as Others
When I was growing up, I was an energetic, enthusiastic, and excitable child. I never let a day go by without challenging something - usually with my mouth. Thanks to those responsible for turning me into a good person, I learned a valuable lesson when they said-
"Listen twice as much as you speak. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason."
You’ve heard that before, and in today's fast-paced world, knowing when to put a zipper on your lips is critical. But, I've also learned to take that advice to a new level to get what I want. I call it doing “Dark."
When you go "Dark," you have chosen to listen to others less. Yes, you are still listening, caring, and interacting with those around you. You've decided to listen to yourself twice as much instead.
The world we live in today makes it seem as though it's impossible to get what you want without others. There are endless hours of interacting, Googling, ZOOMing, Texting, and more. It's as if we've lost permission to think and do for ourselves. We can't move forward without the social approval of those around us when the exact opposite is true.
When you give yourself space to listen to yourself more, something extraordinary happens. Your creative mind and talents flourish—your positive energy rebounds. You feel more present and find more meaning in your life. Going "Dark" makes your life brighter, and then the good stuff happens.
When you take the time to slip away into your own space, you develop into the person you were meant to be.
Removing yourself from the buzz of the world gives you a new kind of energy. And you do it without anybody's permission or without anybody knowing.
When you emerge, everybody will notice that you are different. They will listen when you speak, seek your advice, and be attracted to you in a new way.
Who knew that listening twice as much as you speak works even better when you listen to yourself twice as much as you listen to others?